Unlike natural fabrics, polyester doesn’t vary enough to be stratified by quality. Yet it is now, by price. A polyester garment from Walmart or from a luxury designer will use the same petroleum to create the same reaction between acid and alcohol. The tensile result is unnatural, and thus less vulnerable to erosion from wear and washing, or decomposition once discarded. The prevalence of these fabrics marks 2018 in ways that will be visible long after the trends have passed.